Morphometric and mechanical properties of femora in young adult male turkeys with and without femoral fractures

R. Crespo, Susan M Stover, K. T. Taylor, Richard P Chin, H L Shivaprasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Morphologic and torsional mechanical properties of femora were evaluated in three groups of turkeys to determine whether turkeys that incurred femoral fracture have different radiographic, morphologic, and torsional mechanical properties than do turkeys without femoral fracture, and if body weight was a factor differentiating affected and nonaffected turkeys. Nine turkeys with unilateral femoral fractures and nine turkeys without fractures from Farm A were compared with a group of nine age and genetically matched turkeys from Farm B. Turkeys from Farm A were 10 to 25% heavier (26.2 ± 0.9 kg) and turkeys from Farm B were 10% lighter (18.2 ± 0.9 kg) than expected breed standards. Femoral length, cortical thickness, medullary diameter, and diaphyseal curvature were measured from craniocaudal and lateromedial radiographs. One intact femur from each of five turkeys with a contralateral femoral fracture (Farm A), nine unaffected turkeys from Farm A, and nine turkeys from Farm B were subjected to failure in a torsion test. Geometric and mechanical results were compared. Turkeys from Farm A had a thicker cortex and a smaller medullary diameter than turkeys from Farm B. Turkeys from Farm A had significantly lower torsional stiffness and failure torque values compared with turkeys from Farm B, when differences in body weight were accounted for (analysis of covariance, P < 0.05). Mechanical failure torque calculated from geometric values suggests that organic or inorganic material arrangement and composition may be responsible, in part, for differences between groups. Femoral fractures may be associated with insufficient skeletal adaptation to heavy body weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-608
Number of pages7
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • Biomechanics
  • Femoral fracture
  • Femur
  • Morphometry
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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